Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced today that Luis Rivas, 16, of Brick Township, has pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1), before the Honorable Wendel E. Daniels, P.J.Cr.P. Rivas’ guilty plea to Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault was contemplated in connection with his voluntary waiver of the Family Court’s jurisdiction earlier this week, and his further agreement to be charged and prosecuted as an adult in Criminal Court. At the time of his sentencing on May 8, 2020, the State will recommend that Rivas be sentenced to a term of five years New Jersey State Prison subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.
On Tuesday, October 22, 2019, at approximately 1:45 p.m., Brick Township Police were summoned to Brick Memorial High School for a report of a student who had sustained a gunshot wound. Investigation revealed that the student was walking home from school with three friends when he was shot approximately one-quarter mile away from Brick Memorial; he then ran back to the school for help. As a precaution, Brick Township Police and school officials locked down the high school as well as neighboring schools before determining there was no immediate danger to students. The victim was treated at Ocean Medical Center in Brick Township and released.
Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, through their investigation, reviewed video surveillance footage from nearby residences. The video surveillance depicted Rivas and a second juvenile acting together and in support of one another in carrying out the shooting. Rivas was apprehended on October 26, 2019, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center since his apprehension. The second juvenile is likewise lodged in the Juvenile Detention Center, and his matter remains pending in Family Court.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Chief Juvenile Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Pierro and Assistant Prosecutor Madeline Buczynski who handled the case on behalf of the State. Additionally, Prosecutor Billhimer is grateful for the hard work and persistence of all of the law enforcement agencies involved in securing this plea: Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit; Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit; Brick Township Police Department; Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit; Ocean County Sheriff’s Office; Toms River Township Police Department; Lakewood Township Police Department; Bay Head Borough Police Department; Point Pleasant Beach Police Department; Asbury Park Police Department; Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit; Monmouth County Emergency Response Team; Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office; New Jersey State Police; New Jersey State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center; and the United States Marshals Service. “Were it not for the consummate teamwork exhibited by officers at the local, county, state, and federal levels, this heinous crime would not have been solved and this guilty plea would not have been possible,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “The level of cooperation displayed by all law enforcement officers participating in this investigation was nothing short of exemplary, and I am extremely thankful for their combined efforts,” the Prosecutor concluded.